hardware and software for electronic music 
Aalto1.3

Aalto

A patchable synth with an innovative UI and distinctive sounds.
$99

Kaivo

Kaivo

Physical modeling, made accessible.
$129

Kaivo

Virta

Sound-controlled synthesis and effects .
$89

Soundplane Model A

Soundplane

The computer music controller with the
feel of an acoustic instrument.
Temporarily out of stock.

News

Tuesday, January 03, 2017
by Randy Jones

Aalto 1.8.1, Kaivo 1.3.1, Virta 1.3.1 updates

Hi all, and happy new year. i've just released a .1 update of all three plugins to address some things that were broken in the recent extensive updates. I think of these x.0.1 release as the little cut scene after the credits—now we're all sitting around eating shawarma or whatever and everything makes a bit more sense.

The updates are all on the product pages. I've changed the web site to explain the new license keys a bit better as well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
by Randy Jones

Winter sale.

Dear music makers,

In appreciation for your support, it's time for the annual winter sale. Use the code MAYTHEREBEPEACE on any of the product pages to get 25% off any Madrona Labs plugin. From now through Jan 5.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
by Randy Jones

Release all the things!

The updated versions of Aalto, Kaivo and Virta are all online now on the product pages. Enjoy! As previously posted, here is the list of improvements:

  • new registration system
  • new software PLL host sync
  • UTF-8 compatibility for patch and registration names
  • fixed an issue where the protocol type (MIDI, MPE, OSC) was not loading if the plugin editor did not exist
  • fixed an issue where folder or patch names starting in numbers might not appear
  • code signed Mac OS installer for Gatekeeper compatibility
  • code signed Windows installer for security and good feels
  • fixed a drawing problem with multiple plugin windows
  • fixed a problem where the sequencer would restart when its parameters were changed
  • fixed a problem where sequencer voices would stop after a program change

Kaivo has some additional fixes to correct problems that version 1.0.2 introduced in certain DAWs.

I've updated the website to replace the previous "My downloads" area with the new "My licenses" link. To replace your old watermarked plugins, simply run the new installers, then log into the website and visit your "My licenses" area. You should find links to your snazzy, new, very pointy license codes there. Just copy them to the system clipboard on either Mac OS or Windows, and click in the upper right of the plugin where it says to. Then you're all set!

Code signing for both Mac OS and Windows, also made possible by getting rid of the watermarking, is something else that should improve life for everyone. No more option-clicking to install, or me explaining to you that you have to do that. And with the plugins protected by a secure chain of certificates, you can be sure that they are genuine. There was a time when I didn't see the need for code signing. But after seeing some of the ransomware floating around these days, I'm convinced it's important.

A long time in coming, the new license system is more like the other plugin registration systems out there, and will hopefully reduce some of the confusion that came up about how to make things go. On my end, it's going to reduce server loads significantly and let me deploy new software versions much more quickly. What previously took several hours (I'm not proud to say) is now accomplished by typing "buildAll" and then, if everything sounds good, "deployAll." This will let me spend more time on making things sound good, and get any needed fixes to you faster and more frequently.

It's going to be a good year.

Friday, December 09, 2016
by Randy Jones

Beta all the things!

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, all the Madrona Labs plugins have been updated. Almost immediately after announcing all this work I unexpectedly had to go into panic mode finding a new location for the Labs. Now the new digs are found, the move is complete and we are in great shape, but it sure slowed things down a lot. So if you have been waiting on one of these fixes this Fall, let me thank you sincerely for your patience and support.

I'm putting up these beta installers for both Mac and Windows now, for any adventurers who want to try them. They incorporate the new licensing system, which is more like what you're probably used to from other plugin makers: the demo and release are the same exact plugin, and you turn the one into the other by entering a key. I will update the website to send out keys early next week. So until then, these betas are demo-mode only, with the lack of saving and the whooshing noise we al know and love.

The biggest improvements to all the plugins are :

  • new registration system
  • new software PLL host sync
  • UTF-8 compatibility for patch and registration names
  • fixed an issue where the protocol type (MIDI, MPE, OSC) was not loading if the plugin editor did not exist
  • fixed an issue where folder or patch names starting in numbers might not appear
  • code signed Mac OS installer for Gatekeeper compatibility
  • code signed Windows installer for security and good feels
  • fixed a drawing problem with multiple plugin windows
  • fixed a problem where the sequencer would restart when its parameters were changed
  • fixed a problem where sequencer voices would stop after a program change

Virta has some additional fixes.

Please give these puppies a try, if you have time, and if you were having issues before let me know if things improve.

Windows installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/AaltoInstaller1.8.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/KaivoInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/VirtaInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip

Mac installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/Aalto1.8.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/Kaivo1.3.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/Virta1.3.0b4.pkg

Thursday, August 11, 2016
by Randy Jones

Summer sale 2016

Tuesday, August 09, 2016
by Randy Jones

Update all the things!

A few months of quiet work on the foundations of things is wrapping up, and I'm feeling certain enough about it to give you a preview. I'll be releasing a revision of each of the Madrona Labs plugins within a few weeks. Aalto, Kaivo and Virta all share a common core library, and I've updated it for improvements in compatibility and stability.

Text handling has gotten an overhaul to allow for use of Unicode in patch names and registrations. If your name is Фёдор, Zoë or 郎, or you want to name your patch, say, デトロイトテクノ, we've got you covered.

The code that turns messages from the host DAW into stable clock got a big overhaul: a new software PLL implementation. In case you missed it, here's a demo:

Aalto PLL test from Madrona Labs on Vimeo.

In order to stay compatible with upcoming versions of MacOS, the license code has been reworked. When I first started making plugins, I thought it would be the most convenient for everyone to download uniquely watermarked software right from the website, because just one install and no registration steps are required. So that's how we've been doing it. This was a neat idea, but it is a very inconvenient idea if I want to codesign the binaries to make Gatekeeper and its Windows equivalent happy. With every plugin being different, a dedicated code signing server would be needed to sign each copy, and that’s not practical for me to maintain.

I'm moving to a system where instead of downloading the whole binary, you just download a license code and paste it into the plugin to turn the demo version into a licensed one. (Yeah, like 99% of the plugins in the world.) All the other license terms will stay the same—installation on multiple computers is still fine, for example. I've worked to make the registration experience, from website to plugin, as smooth as possible. It may even be better than my old system, because you can turn the demo into a licensed version while it's running.

Timing problems affecting Reaper and a problem I introduced with Virta 1.0.2 are also getting fixed.

Because of the need to change the website, all the plugins are switching over to the new license code at once. Probably within a few weeks. It's a big change that should make deploying new versions easier for me, and should also make life easier for all users of the software. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 13, 2016
by Randy Jones

Virta 1.0.2 released

Version 1.0.2 of our favorite new voice-controlled synth and effects toolbox, Virta, is now available for download. This release brings the following changes:

  • VST version now comes as a MIDI-controlled effect, enabling Cubase compatibility.
  • improved graphics performance with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • changed preset loading to strip unused settings
  • fixed a problem with Reaper always passing through dry audio
  • fixed a problem with audio stopping at some parameter settings
  • brightened background color

Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2016
by Randy Jones

Artist profile: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

interview by Geeta Dayal

At age 29, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is a rising star in the world of electronic music. Her music was shaped by her years spent exploring the pastoral landscapes of Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, which led to a chance encounter—via a neighbor—with a Buchla 100 modular system. This, in turn, led to an affinity for the Buchla Music Easel, a unique, portable synthesizer invented in the 1970s. After several experiments with releasing her own material, her first full-length album, Euclid, was released in 2015 on the label Western Vinyl. Her new album, EARS, is receiving major acclaim; NPR recently raved that it "elevates the warm pulse of the Music Easel into the realm of the divine" and Spin wrote that Smith's album is "startlingly, richly fulsome, commingling the mysticism of Smithsonian Folkways LPs, IDM’s furrowed futurism, and the free fall questing of Laurie Spiegel’s 1980 landmark, The Expanding Universe."

Saturday, April 02, 2016
by Randy Jones

Using Virta in FL Studio

Here's a nice clear PDF and an FLP file that should explain how to get Virta humming along in FL Studio.

Virta in FL Studio
Virtatemplate FLP

Big thanks to Levendis and deathcomics here on the forums for putting together this info!

Thursday, March 31, 2016
by Randy Jones

Seattle Music Machines Salon meets again April 1

The second SMMS meeting will take place at Ada’s Technical books in Seattle on April 1, from 7–9pm. This is a monthly meeting for presentations and discussions about making electronic music.

I'm going to do a gentle introduction to Cycling '74's Max/MSP for the first hour, assuming there is interest. Then we can have an hour for open discussion and working on the web site and such.

Sorry for the very late notice on this month—been a bit slammed with the Virta release but I wanted to stick to the regular schedule.

If you’re interested in contributing something to SMMS, like organizational help, or a presentation of your own, there’s lots of room to do so, so please come by!

[http://seattlemusicmachines.org] has the beginnings of a website (thanks Bryan) and should be the place to go for info very shortly. There will also be a Facebook group soon.